Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Bread, merguez, jam and coffee on a Saturday

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Peach gallery

Peach gallery; Click for Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market photos

My favorite bread is Acme, charcuterie Fatted Calf, jam June Taylor and coffee Blue Bottle. One place where I can find them all is Ferry Plaza farmer’s market on a Saturday.

It is no doubt a bit of drive from Bay Area. But once you manage to get yourself there, you will definitely break your budget. I promise you that.

Chez Panisse serves Blue Bottle. Yes, they are that good. Blue Bottle runs a very busy shop at Ferry plaza. They serve fresh coffee free of charge and it is quite a production line. The coffee is made in a cup, or rather a line of cups, where hot water is poured through a cup filter holding the fresh grounds.The mound of grounds is tall – something like 1/4-1/3 cup – lot of coffee grounds per cup. The resultant is a thick brew, with the richness and consistency of a stout. The stall is manned by geeky looking young men who are clearly excited about their brews – or maybe it is all the coffee they drink. If you are in SFO on $40/day, you will no doubt get your free cup and skedaddle. But we postponed our steak dinner – pound for pound the coffee was as expensive as grass fed organic sirloin steak – but the coffee was going to serve us longer, at least a week of early morning ecstatic jolt.

Musicians at the Market

Musicians at the Market

June Taylor’s preserves have been a long time favorite. Although, of late, the husband has taken over the task of making equally nice preserves. His last batch of bitter orange marmalade was thrilling, to say the least. Inspired by June, he too uses heirloom produce and cooks with little sugar and no-pectin and uses all bits of the fruit. Her jams (or our home made ones) on a slice of Acme bread, served with a cup of freshly brewed Blue Bottle coffee is indubitably the best breakfast in Bay Area. Unfortunately, there aren’t many outlets in Bay Area that sell her jam and when they do, they don’t have the complete selection. I have to yet to try her Rangpur Lime Jelly. It occurs to me that I don’t recollect eating Rangpur limes in Bengal or for that matter, anywhere in India. I will have to look out for it next time we are in India and if we find it, we will be spending our vacation making preserves.

Burger stand

Burger stand

We picked up some fenugreek sprouts and fresh milled wheat. I was not surprised to find San Franciscans eating fenugreek sprouts – the pleasantly bitter sprout is presumably good for the digestive tract and San Franciscans are often at the cutting edge of many healthwise culinary trends. On Sunday morning, we had fenugreek sprout stuffed parathas for lunch. Normally made with fenugreek leaves, I was expecting a milder version with the sprouts. They turned out to be too mild for my taste. But the wheat was fantastic – it had a pecan like nuttiness. Kneading the dough was like working with sand, it was so gritty! But the parathas turned out extra crunchy and needless to say, it was parathas for breakfast for the next six weekends.

Rose Pistolas Pulled Pork Sandwich

Rose Pistola's Pulled Pork Sandwich

We also picked up a medley of dry farmed potatoes from Little Organic Farm. I was really craving for a potato that taste like the ones at Ad Hoc . For dinner, we simmered the potatoes in broth and pan sauteed them with Fatted Calf merguez. Merguez was excellent – non-greasy, non-gamey, a very lamb like. The potatoes were really good but not upto Ad Hoc standards. I am beginning to suspect that Ad Hoc cooks its potatoes in a potato broth! The episode however encouraged me to grow potatoes this year. A month ago, I bought my seed potatoes and this week, I will have to put fresh earth near the young shoots. We estimated the cost per pound and it turns out to be a bad idea economically. However, from time-to-time, one ought to take care of the primeval urge to have a tete-e-tete with mother earth.

So, go for the food, go for inspiration, blow your budget and watch the Bay.  And, if you are looking for the unexpected, check out the statue of Mahatma Gandhi behind the Ferry Plaza building overlooking the Bay.

8 Responses

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  1. […] (Slanted Door), good chocolates (Recchiuti), good bread (Acme), good cheese (Cowgirl creamery), the Farmer’s market and excellent views. This time, I found another reason, Miette Cakes. We picked up a chocolate […]

  2. […] is a great spot for good eats and people watching. Read about the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market here. Also, the Union Square area is close by – click for photos of Union Square. If you are not […]

  3. […] plaza is a great place to hang out everyday, but Saturday Farmer’s is special. If you are the type who loves long hikes, urban or otherwise, check out our Ferry […]

  4. […] a few blocks from Embarcadero, at the junction of Pacific and Battery, this saloon is part of the infamous red light district of […]

  5. […] will have delicious views of the San Francisco Bay. You can also check out the popular Ferry Building Farmer’s market. A unique San Francisco experience is a hike up to Telegraph Hill via Filbert steps and see the […]

  6. […] I like about this hike is the fact that it is easily reachable both from North Beach as well as Ferry Plaza – two of my favorite spots in the city. You can easily make a long day trip by combining  […]

  7. […] visited Ferry building  on a Saturday morning. Every Saturday, come rain or shine, he has a large Farmer’s market gathered all around him – artisan breads, organic sprouts, heirloom fruits, fresh milled […]

  8. […] next to Ferry Plaza. If you start on a Saturday, you will be able to pick up your lunch from the Farmer’s market. Another option is to buy some cheese  at the Cowgirl Creamery and bread from Acme at the Ferry […]


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